A Picture of the  Showers Foundation Medical Team, at The Tuberculosis Outreach in Awo omamma, Imo State, during the Hilltop encounters program.

Dr. Golibe Ugochukwu holding the Mic and teaching, Flanked by the founder and President of Showers Foundation, Mrs Ifunanya M. Okonkwo


Before we explain Tuberculosis and its different effects let us briefly touch on the conference that provided the platform for this outreach by Showers Foundation. The Hilltop Encounters program is the international annual gathering of youths in the watchman catholic campus fellowship in Nigeria, Instituted 24 years ago, the Hilltop is an instrument of redemption, reformation, restoration, refreshing, revival, and refocusing to multitudes of youths.

The Hilltop Encounters is an avenue where youths come together from different zones in Nigeria for spiritual and intellectual reforms, this program has been in action since 2002, and each year has been met with different spiritual themes like Unstoppable Youths. Showers Foundation made great use of this opportunity to speak to the over 4000 youths gathered in the church venue on public health endemics like tuberculosis, the foundation was represented by the medical team from the Imo state public health department.

The Outreach hosted by the Showers Foundation At Hilltop Encounters 2024.

The outreach kicked off during the Hilltop Encounters program, the medical team was allowed to speak with the participants and teach them the basics of tuberculosis, diagnosis, and treatment. Dr. Golibe Ugochukwu the senior program officer at KNCV Imo state handled the lecture and spoke with the participants on the dangers of close proximity with a patient, and the effects of untreated tuberculosis Infection to the Individual, The immediate family and the community at large. Mrs Ifunanya Okonkwo M. The President and Founder Showers Foundation took the stage to compliment on the different categories of Infection and the need for early diagnosis and treatment.

Medical Examinations and Diagnosis

Post-Health talk, the Medical team of the foundation engaged in screening suspected cases of tuberculosis and HIV at the Conference. The participants were cooperative and the general stigma surrounding tuberculosis and HIV was at an all-time low. The Outreach recorded a huge turnout of persons interested in the diagnosis and proper estimation of Health status at the program, The Outreach lasted for 48 hours, approximately two days. The foundation had help from its partnering bodies in transporting non–sputum-producing suspected cases from the conference ground to designated gene xpert sites in Owerri and back. Samples were transported, (sputum). X-rays were taken and Positive cases were placed immediately on treatment.

What you need to Know about Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an airborne infection, and every patient positive for it, if not treated has the potential to Infect an average of 10-20 persons every year. It is possible that a person can be infected, and yet show no symptoms of infection, these persons are referred to as latent tuberculosis infections.

The Risk Factors that are preludes to developing the disease are grouped into; a) Risks associated with exposure to untreated persons, duration of contact with untreated persons, and poor ventilation. b) The Risk of Infection, this category depends on how long a healthy person has been exposed to an untreated case, and Finally, c) The risk of progression of infection to disease, this category majorly pictures weakening immunity due to HIV/Aids infection, Systemic illnesses like Diabetes mellitus, Prolonged intake of Steroids, chronic alcoholism and Malnutrition.

The Goal for its Control

The goal of Tuberculosis control in Nigeria is to achieve a 50% reduction in prevalence rate and a 75% reduction in the tuberculosis mortality rate in Nigeria by 2025. To achieve this Target, the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Board needs private and public partners to join hands in the fight against Tuberculosis in Nigeria. As a result of this commitment, there have been various national training and staff development programs to better equip both private and Public partners in the fight against Tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis is a public health endemic and requires continuing collaborations to help curb its spread in communities and urban cities in Nigeria and Africa. Showers Foundation is fully dedicated to the fight against TB and its accompanying Public health diseases.

You can also read up about previous projects here.